Perceptions of Breastfeeding for Women with Perinatal Depression: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

Pratt, B.A.; Longo, J.; Gordon, S.C.; Jones, N.Aaron.

Issues in Mental Health Nursing 41(7): 637-644

2020


ISSN/ISBN: 0161-2840
PMID: 32243211
DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1691690
Accession: 069977581

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Abstract
Women with perinatal depression have an increased risk for breastfeeding cessation, yet few studies have explored their lived experience. In this qualitative study, semistructured interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of women (N = 10) who self-reported perinatal depression. Using Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological method of data analysis, five components were found to embody their lived experience of breastfeeding: (a) choosing selflessness, (b) harboring inadequacy, (c) deliberate persevering, (d) discerning meaning, and (e) cherishing intimacy. Findings contribute to understanding the experience of breastfeeding for this population and could provide guidance to improve lactation management and perinatal mental health education for nurses.